You know how we Indians eat roti/paratha and subzi separately? Or we end up with a leftover rotis or parathas and don’t know what to do with it? Well, let’s take it up a notch by putting the roti/paratha in the subzi and make it a one-pot meal.
Kothu Roti or Kothu Paratha is a dish that is extremely popular in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu and in Sri Lanka, and popular as street food. In the Tamil language, “kothu” means “to chop”. Can you guess why? Because the dish is essentially chopped roti or paratha mixed with vegetables (or meat) and cooked together with spices.
I was introduced to Kothu Paratha by close friend who took me to a Tamilian restaurant in Atlanta that specializes with this. I instantly feel in love with it. It is a flavorful and aromatic dish that can be customized with vegetables and meat.
Traditionally, Kothu Paratha, as the name suggests, is prepared with parotta. To be clear, parotta and paratha are not the same. Parotta is made from all purpose flour and is more stretchy and flaky, where as paratha is prepared from whole wheat flour. Rotis are also used, but not the regular whole wheat rotis. The specific rotis used in the traditional Sri Lankan style dish is “Godamba Rotis” which are thin flatbreads made from all purpose. But I had several pre-prepared rotis so I used it in this recipe, hence Kothu Roti.
There are many additives that can be used to spruce up the Kothu Paratha or Kothu Roti. For instance, I like to scramble an egg in every now and then. Maybe even try some srambled paneer. For non-vegetarians, there are a variety of meat options that can be added as well. In this recipe, I skimmed on the vegetables, but feel free to customize as you like. This dish is usually quite spicy and as such, it is served with a chilled raita.
|Prep time||5 minutes|
|Cook time||15 minutes|
- Yellow or Red Onion – 1 cup, finely chopped or sliced
- Tomato – 1 cup, chopped
- Green Bell Peppers – 1 cup, chopped
- Saunf (Fennel Seeds Powder) – 1 tbsp (Reduce to 1/2 tbsp if you don’t like the flavor of it)
- Red Chilli Powder – 1 tsp
- Turmeric – 1/2 tsp
- Cumin-Coriander Powder – 1 tsp
- Garam Masala – 1 tsp (Optional)
- Salt – As per taste
- Mustard Seeds – 1 tsp
- Jeera (Cumin Seeds) – 1 tsp
- Ginger – 1 tbsp, finely chopped
- Garlic – 1 tsp, finely chopped
- Curry Leaves – A handful
- Urad Dal (Black Gram) – 1 tsp
- Chana Dal (Split Baby Chickpeas) – 1 tsp
- Roti – 6
- Cooking Oil – 1-2 tbsp
- Feel free to add other vegetables of your choice
- For protein, scramble some eggs or paneer (or tofu, if vegan)
- Customize your spices as per your liking
- You can also use parathas or frozen rotis or parathas
- Heat oil in a pan. Make sure the heat is medium-high throughout the process
- Add mustard seeds. Once they crackle, add jeera, urad dal, chana dal and curry leaves. Saute for 1-2 minutes until the lentils turn slightly brown
- Add chopped ginger and garlic. Saute 1-2 minutes until they brown
- Add chopped onions. Saute for 3-4 minutes until they turn translucent
- Add tomatoes and let them cook down for 3-4 minutes
- In the meanwhile, take the pre-prepared rotis and roughly chop them by hand or using a pizza cutter or knife
- Once the tomatoes have cooked through, add salt and all the spices (except garam masala). Mix well. Add a splash of water to de-glaze the pan and create a saucy consistency. Let this simmer for 2-3 minutes
- Add the green bell peppers and mix. No need to cook them, just let it have a crunchy texture. The optional step at this stage is to add a tsp of garam masala for some extra flavor
- Turn the heat to low-medium. Add the chopped rotis and mix well until all the rotis are coated with the spices
- Plate it, garnish with cilantro (Maybe even a squueze of lemon juice) and serve with chilled raita
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